ESS Region 15: Dani Dominguez
July 13, 2020
Editor’s note: ACSA’s video series profiling the winners of the Every Student Succeeding awards program was impacted by COVID-19 shelter-in-place restrictions. Starting this week, EdCal will begin featuring Q&A interviews with all 19 winners from each ACSA region. In addition, there will be video stories of the students whose footage was completed before the pandemic. Watch for these videos to premiere on ACSA’s YouTube channel and ACSA’s Facebook page this fall.
Grade: 12th School: Bowman High School District: William S. Hart Union HSD ACSA region: 15 Dani Dominguez’s story is one of great sorrow and yet great resilience. She grew up in an abusive household. Dani admits she never felt like she had a true sense of belonging. She bounced around from house to house and school to school. At her lowest point, she considered suicide. Dani eventually found hope at Bowman High, an alternative school where the motto is “you matter.” She is quick to call Bowman her “happy place” and after graduating this past spring, she has a new outlook on life. What are your hobbies and interests? Music has been a wonderful way to express myself and my emotions, especially during challenging times. After I was offered the chance at guitar lessons, I also picked up singing and never looked back. I never thought I would say the words “I’m proud of myself.”  What has been the biggest challenge you’ve overcome to get to where you are today? The biggest challenge for me has been staying on the right path and not altering the path that I was meant to be on.              What educator helped you along the way and how did they help you? I received help from so many people over the years, but two particular educators stand out to me: Amy Gonzalez and Cindy Takamoto. Amy guided me in all things education. She assisted me with finding the classes I needed to reach my goals. She is responsible for my academic achievements. Cindy helped in my home life and finding a more stable environment where I could learn to thrive. What advice would you have for students facing similar situations? If I could offer any advice, I would say don’t shut down. You have to trust your instincts. And always strive to do better in life. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Push for greatness in yourself. You must believe in yourself in order to achieve success. For me, staying optimistic about the future allowed me to strive for greatness.  What does it mean to win this award? I am extremely appreciative to win this award. I see it as a recognition of all of my hard work over the years, especially during times when I could have given up. This shows my determination and ability to get through those tough times. 
Region 15 2020 ESS student recipient Dani Dominguez.
Every Student Succeeding winners overcome the odds
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